A dedicated text alert system has been launched in a part of Wales to warn farmers about livestock worrying threats.
The NFU Welshpool team has launched the service, called Dog Line, which alerts farmers to dogs roaming around livestock.
The scheme allows residents, walkers and farmers to call or text 07736 497 511 if they witness any unusual activity, disrupted livestock or roaming dogs.
Once warnings are received, Stephen Kenyon, group secretary for NFU East Montgomery, then sends out live alerts to his farming members to highlight a possible risk and raise awareness.
If the pilot proves successful, it could be rolled out to other parts of Wales and more widely in the UK.
“Chasing by dogs can do serious damage to sheep, even if it doesn’t catch them. The stress of worrying by dogs can cause sheep to die and particularly at this time of year, cause a sheep to abort her lambs”
Stephen Kenyon, NFU
Mr Kenyon said Dog Line aims to raise awareness of livestock worrying in the East Montgomery area , help farmers to protect stock and ensure loose dogs were returned safely back to their owners.
He added: “Chasing by dogs can do serious damage to sheep, even if it doesn’t catch them. The stress of worrying by dogs can cause sheep to die and particularly at this time of year, cause a sheep to abort her lambs.
“It is vital that dog owners keep dogs on leads around livestock and if you live near to a farming area, ensure your dog is kept secure to avoid it escaping to neighbouring land with sheep.”
Last week, the devastating impact of sheep worrying made national headlines when 116 sheep, of which about 70 were in-lamb, were killed in a suspected dog attack at West Dean Estate, near Chichester, West Sussex.
The NFU Welshpool office already operates a successful Farm Watch scheme in co-ordination with Dyfed-Powys Police, notifying members to local crime incidents.
Dog Line is an extension of the service.